Conwy Castle stands on a rocky outcrop on the banks of the river Conwy. It was built between 1285 and 1287 by Master James of Saint George for Edward I – with the help of about 1500 workmen.
Today, Conwy’s town walls (built at the same time) are some of the best-preserved medieval town walls in Europe. In its heyday, the walls of the castle were white-washed and the towers had conical roofs. This fairytale didn’t last long though – its exposed position caused no end of damage, and in 1346 Conwy Castle was deemed unfit for a king. Captured by Owain Glyndwr’s supporters in 1401, and under royalist control during the English Civil War, Conwy Castle went on to have less violent associations: Joseph Mallord William Turner painted it in 1798, and when Thomas Telford built his suspension bridge next to it in 1826, Conwy Castle became a tourist destination – it’s still a crowd-puller today. Conwy Castle gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1986 along with the other Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd.